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free sample eulogy below is a good example of a eulogy to start the service.
The eulogy gives a good overview of Molly's life, her early years, marriages,
children, professional career and interests. The poem is very personal
and appropriate and the reading leads to others who will add their own
words. This is the sort of eulogy that would be read by a close friend
Molly was born in San Mateo,
California, on January 11, 1950, to John, a businessman, and his wife,
Catherine Louise. Molly was their second child and joined her older brother
John. Three and a half years later, little sister Bridget was added to
Molly grew up in northern California
town, but spent her middle school and early high school years in Connecticut.
Early on she showed evidence of the lively spirit that was her signature
throughout her life. She was a tomboy, climbing trees, hiking in the woods
and running around – once ending up on crutches for six months.
She adored horses and always chose to go to ranch-style summer camps.
During the summers when the family lived in the East, she and Bridget
had a farm stand, selling corn and tomatoes from the family garden. By
her senior year, the family moved back to California and Molly finished
up at Saint Vincent High School in Petaluma.
When it was time for college,
Molly came to the University of Arizona and majored in English. She transferred
to UC Davis for just a semester, then came back to the U of A. Molly had
a beautiful soprano voice and in these years she frequently played the
guitar, accompanying herself. She had a gift for music – by just
hearing a piece of music she was able to reproduce it on the guitar. Because
of her lovely voice, she was enlisted to sing at many of the family weddings.
In later years, when Molly went to a class reunion, taking Megan along
as her date, many of her former classmates came up and recounted their
memories of her singing and playing.
Molly’s first job was
at the Tucson Citizen as a proofreader in 1972. She then moved into the
legal field, starting as a secretary. As she became more knowledgeable,
she began doing paralegal work and over the next 30 years worked for several
law firms. She became such an expert in personal injury that co-workers
went to her for advice, and the word was, “if you need to know something
about litigation, ask Molly.”
One of the friends she met
in the law field was Kay. They worked together for about six years but
remained friends for decades, growing closer over the years as they shared
experiences of raising children and pets. Another friend she met from
work was Shaye, and we will hear from Shaye later.
In March of 1980, Molly was
married to Paul. By that time her mother Louise had passed on, but at
Molly’s wedding, her dad read a poem that was one of Louise’s
favorites and one she had frequently said reminded her of her beloved
Reading for sample eulogy:
These are the words of Carl Sandburg:
I love you for what you are,
I love you yet more for what
you are going to be.
I love you not so much for
As for your ideals.
I pray for your desires that
they may be great
Rather than for your satisfactions,
Which may be so hazardously
A satisfied flower is one
Whose petals are about to fall.
The most beautiful rose is
one hardly more than a bud
Wherein the pangs and ecstasies
Are working for larger and
Not always shall you be what
you are now.
You are going forward toward
I am on the way with you and
I love you.
Sample Eulogy Continued:
Molly’s first child,
Megan, was born in 1980, followed by little brother Colter in 1983. Although
Molly continued to work in the legal field, she was dedicated to her children.
She managed to “do it all” by being very organized. She took
her children to the library and read to them frequently, sharing with
them her own love of books, both modern titles and well-known classics.
As her children got older, she was the consummate soccer mom, driving
them to their games and cheering from the sidelines. If they were playing
basketball or in a school play, she was there.
Molly interacted with her children
according to their needs and personality. With Megan she spent Saturdays
on many mother-daughter activities including such girl-y pleasures buying
prom dresses. As we all know, boys would rather do anything but shop,
so she took Colter to pool halls and taught him how to get those balls
into the pockets. She was also an excellent Scrabble player and taught
her kids the game. Megan and Colter remember that their mom always kept
her sense of humor – whether that meant being a good sport during
April Fool’s jokes or biting her nails while teaching her kids to
In once instance when Megan
was learning to drive, she pulled out of a Pima College parking lot and
drove about 200 yards down the wrong lane. Molly did get a little excited
while urging her to get back in the right lane, but that didn’t
deter her from going out with Meghan on the next lesson.
It is important for a mom to
be a good cook and Molly was. She loved to barbecue and make her kids’
favorites for their birthdays – cheesecake for Megan and chocolate
mousse pie for Colter. From her days as a child in California, Molly carried
with her a love of the ocean and many family vacations were spent near
a beach so she could share this experience with her children.
After 20 years of marriage,
Molly and Paul divorced in 2000. In 2001 Molly had a brief second marriage.
Following that divorce, she took back her maiden name.
With her children on their
own, Molly had more time for herself and was able to focus on activities
such as redecorating, listening to her favorite music on CDs and growing
roses. The gardening was a further extension of her green thumb. She had
always had lots of house plants and many people commented that her home
resembled a jungle inside. Molly also loved the natural environment and
hated to see the desecration of the desert.
Meghan and Colter remember
their mother as beautiful both inside and out. “She was always positive
and strong,” Meghan says. “She taught me how to be a strong
intelligent woman.” Colter says, “I can always look at a life
situation and think – this is how she would do it.”
Molly was diagnosed with small
cell lung cancer in January of 2002. At first it appeared that surgery
and chemotherapy had arrested the disease, but tragically doctors later
confirmed that the cancer had spread.
But that did not defeat her.
In May of 2003, Molly, Meghan and Colter traveled to Cozumel together
for a week. She was a nervous traveler, but her kids – who had more
experience in this arena than she – were able to calm and reassure
her. Once in Mexico, they had a glorious vacation together – enjoying
each other even more as they realized how precious and tenuous life can
be. The three of them snorkeled in the warm turquoise water, visited the
Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza and every night watched the sunset together.
Those sunset moments it turned
out were a metaphor for their life together. Molly kept fighting her disease
to the end. She thought she would have more time, she thought she could
hold on until a cure was found. So did her friends and family. Only in
middle-of-the-night phone calls with Meghan and her friend Shaye would
she admit that she was scared. Despite considerable pain from the disease
that was spreading through her body, Molly continued working until October.
The cancer took her life just
three short years from the time of diagnosis. Molly’s body has been
cremated and Meghan and Colter will scatter her ashes on the ocean she
loved so much.
The following reading is appropriate because of Molly’s love of
plants and gardens. The writer tells of connecting with the spirit of
a loved one while sitting in a garden.
Finding You in Beauty
The rays of light filtered
The sentinels of trees this
I sat in the garden and contemplated.
The serenity and beauty
Of my feelings and surroundings
Completely captivated me.
I thought of you.
I discovered you tucked away
In the shadows of the trees.
Then, rediscovered you
In the smiles of the flowers
As the sun penetrated their
In the rhythm of the leaves
Falling in the garden
In the freedom of the birds
As they fly searching as you
I’m very happy to have
Now you will never leave me
For I will always find you
in the beauty of life.
May all of you take a moment
to remember Molly and to connect with her generous spirit the next time
you find yourself in a lovely garden.
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